Be a Bicycle Shop Business Broker
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Bike shops are always for sale. The reasons are many. The most common is that the shop is not making enough money to satisfy the owner. Another common reason is retail burnout. After five years, the shop owner just can't handling another person coming in and saying "rim" when they mean "wheel!"
Yet owning a bicycle shop is one of the top business fantasies. So many people who have worked in public service or in a factory for years dream of owning a bicycle shop. Even one in financial straits. As is often the case, they hope that with proper management, the financial condition of a shop they purchase can be straightened out.
How would you like to be a go-between? I don't know exactly how it would work. Perhaps you'd have to have a real estate license to operate in some communities. The way I see it is that you'd approach as many bicycle shops as you can, and just let them know that if they ever want to sell, you'd be glad to help them get top dollar for their business.
Then, you advertise in various ways, such as a worldwide web site, that you represent a number of bicycle stores for sale. You might even advertise in national magazines and in large city newspapers. Imagine how many people who have just gotten an inheritance or retired in New York or Los Angeles would like to buy a bike shop in a quiet little town in Iowa to enjoy for the rest of their lives!
I think, too, that you would want to act responsibly, and help the new buyers out with their businesses at first, to be sure that they are going to be successful. Help them understand about inventory management, customer service, stop them from throwing away money on newspaper advertising, and so on. You could afford to help. If you can pick up eight or ten percent every time a hundred thousand dollar bike shop changes hands, you'd be doing OK!
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